Social media has transformed from a place where people simply caught up with old friends, informed everyone what they were having for dinner and shared photos of their children. Now, among many other uses, social also serves as a significant portal for news and a place where consumers can find out more about brands. A new report [download page] from AudienceProject looks at which social media platforms users like best for these activities.
Despite the backlash certain social media platforms have received of late, they still matter to many people. In fact, nearly half (45%) of Americans find social media is important to them, and only one-fifth (21%) say these platforms are not important.
One possible allure of social media is the ability for individuals to follow their favorite brands. Previous research shows that consumers follow brands on social media for many reasons, not the least of which is to learn more about new products or services and to stay up to date on company news. Consumers also enjoy engaging with brands, especially if that engagement is a two-way street.
This most recent research found that individuals are using certain platforms more than others to follow brands. More than one-third (36%) of the US Instagram users surveyed are on the platform with the expressed purpose of following brands, while 35% of Twitter users also use that platform for the same reason. By comparison, about one-quarter (24%) of Pinterest users use the platform to follow brands, while surprisingly only 19% of Facebook and YouTube users use those respective platforms to follow brands.
Social media users are also using platforms to get news. The top platforms for reading news are by far Twitter and Reddit, with half of the US users of each platform saying they use it for getting the news. By comparison, only about half as many YouTube (26%) or Facebook (24%) users claimed to be using those platforms as a source of news.
The full report, including data on other countries, can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a Q3 2020 survey fielded among more than 16,000 respondents ages 15 and older.